During the Riga Conference 2017, European Western Balkans spoke with Linas Linkevičius, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Lithuania. We spoke on Juncker’s Strategy for successful accession of Serbia and Montenegro, Russian interests in the Western Balkans and Serbia’s military neutrality.
Lithuanian Minister Linas Linkevičius, who is on an official visit to India to celebrate 25th year of establishment of diplomatic relations, spoke to The Tribune about the relationship between the two countries, his views on global terrorism as a challenge, his views on what Europe is viewing as Russia’s growing aggression and what he expects from his countries ties with India.
With the construction of Belarus's controversial Astravets nuclear power plant hurtling forward, the dissonance between Minsk and Vilnius over the project could not be greater. Lithuania -- whose capital lies less than 50 kilometers from Astravets -- has protested vehemently against the construction of the plant since it was announced in 2008.
Along with objecting to Minsk's decision to build the plant so close to Vilnius -- which along with Astravets is in a seismic-activity zone -- Lithuanian officials are concerned that Minsk has not allowed a full inspection by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Adding to the worries in Vilnius is the secrecy of Belarusian officials when faced with 10 accidents and three deaths that occurred during the construction of the plant, which began in 2013.
"Regretfully, from the very beginning the Belarusians never discussed any of these issues with us," Darius Degutis, appointed in January as Lithuania's envoy for issues related to the Astravets nuclear plant, told RFE/RL.
Polish and Lithuanian relations have recently improved. They share longtime history, are NATO and EU members and it turns out that they perceive their common problems similarly. We talked to the foreign minister of Lithuania Linas Linkeviczius about threats and opportunities of the neighbouring countries.
Lithuania has been a staunch diplomatic ally for Israel, particularly at the UN and the within the EU. Close Israeli-Lithuanian ties should not be held hostage to the dark days of the Holocaust, Lithuania’s Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius told The Jerusalem Post during his two-day visit to the country this week.
“It is important to remember the past and to know what happened, but it is not less important to focus on the future,” he said during a conversation at the capital’s King David Hotel. Lithuania has been a staunch diplomatic ally for Israel, particularly at the UN and the within the EU.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Linkevicius at the start of their meeting in Jerusalem on Monday, “You are a friend. Israel has had a long-standing connection with Lithuania – personal and national.”
Lithuania’s foreign minister on Monday called for stronger cooperation between Jerusalem and the European Union regarding Iran’s nuclear ambitions, saying his visit to Israel this week has opened his eyes about problematic aspects of the nuclear agreement the international community reached with Tehran in 2015.
Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius says the recent NATO deployments to the Baltic region and elsewhere in Eastern Europe are a sign that the Western alliance “will do anything” to defend the security of member nations.
In an interview on April 20 with Current Time TV, Linkevicius also said Vilnius desires “normal” relations with Russia but that they should be based on "principles and values."
Linkevicius spoke to the Russian-language network, run by RFE/RL in cooperation with VOA, as the 28-member alliance is bolstering its presence in the region to reassure member nations in the face of a renewed aggressive foreign policy by neighboring Russia.